Yoon Suk-yeol of the main conservative opposition People Power Party won the South Korean presidential election held on Wednesday, according to the Yonhap news agency Thursday.
Yonhap said Yoon was elected South Korean president after his major rival in the neck-to-neck race Lee Jae-myung of the ruling Democratic Party conceded defeat.
Yoon secured 48.58 percent of support, defeating Lee by a narrow margin with 98.3 percent of the total votes counted as of 4:15 a.m. local time (1915 GMT Wednesday), showed data by the National Election Commission.
Lee won 47.80 percent of the votes. Sim Sang-jung of the progressive Justice Party fell far behind with a support of 2.37 percent. Sim also conceded defeat to Yoon when the votes counting was almost completed.
Lee said in a televised address that it was neither the failure of people nor that of the Democratic Party, blaming the election result on himself.
Lee offered his congratulations to Yoon, expressing hope that Yoon would open a new era of unity and harmony in the country.
Sim said in a televised speech that she humbly accepted her poor score in the election as it was the assessment of herself and her party, and expressed gratitude to her supporters despite the tight race between the two biggest political parties.
The final turnout was 77.1 percent, or 34,071,400 voters among the electorate of 44,197,692 people. It was slightly lower than the previous election's 77.2 percent in 2017.